Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Texas Tech and Iowa State were both
unbeaten heading into Week 5 a season ago and the same scenario has come to
fruition once again as the Red Raiders and Cyclones are a combined 6-0 heading
into Saturday's matchup.
Texas Tech is usually a team near the top in most of the key offensive
categories and this year is no different. The Red Raiders are second in the
nation in total offense (598 yards per game) and sixth in scoring (50 points
However, not many people usually write the words "great defense" and "Texas
Tech" in the same sentence, but after the first four weeks of the season, the
Red Raiders are No. 1 in the country in total defense (160 ypg) and sixth in
scoring (10 ppg).
The main reason for those numbers is the complete lack of quality play from
their opponents. Texas Tech has benefited from taking on Northwestern State,
Texas State and New Mexico.
On the other side, Iowa State is ninth in scoring defense, holding its
opponents to 11 points per game, and 14th in total defense (280 yards per
game). The Cyclones have not been doing it against weak competition, either, as
they took on Tulsa and Iowa the first two weeks of the season, respectively.
This also is a squad that is 13-6 in its last 19 home games and 6-10 in its
last 16 road contests. Based on those numbers, it is easy to see the amount of
success the Cyclones have had at Jack Trice Stadium.
As far as the Red Raiders are concerned, they are below .500 on the road since
2009 and that includes a 52-38 loss in Ames two years ago. Iowa State rushed
for 251 yards in the win, but that number doesn't even come close to last
year's 368 yards in the 41-7 drubbing the Cyclones gave to Texas Tech.
It is somewhat surprising to see the Red Raiders favored in this one, but
apparently their statistical numbers have swayed the public into thinking they
are better than a team that has won four straight at home.
Take Iowa State plus 2.5 points as a five-star play.
This week's other five-star play comes courtesy of the Nevada-Texas State
Nevada could easily be 4-0 on the season had B.J. Daniels not connected on a
game-winning touchdown strike to Andre Davis with 38 seconds left in the one-
point South Florida victory in Reno on Sept. 8. Outside that contest, the Wolf
Pack have been much better than expected with road victories over California
Texas State, an upset winner over Houston (0-3) in Week 1, was blown out at
home by Texas Tech, 58-10, the following week. The Bobcats had a week off to
prepare for Stephen F. Austin and still only beat the Lumberjacks by four
points. It is important to note the Lumberjacks were shut out, 52-0, by SMU
earlier in the season.
The only way Nevada fails to win and cover is if the players feel the effects
of traveling to Texas after playing in Hawaii the week before. Nevertheless,
the Wolf Pack are 5-0 straight-up and 4-1 against-the-spread since 2002 in the
game following a regular-season trip to Honolulu.
Take Nevada minus 20 points.
Stanford has owned Washington of late, winning the last four meetings - the
last three by a combined 105 points. One could say the Huskies should be primed
for revenge after the Cardinal placed 65 points on them last year, but they did
not come out fired up for that contest after getting shut out at home, 41-0 in
the 2010 meeting.
The Cardinal are not as strong this year as they have been in the recent past,
but they are 3-0 and ranked eighth in the country. They also have held three
straight opponents, including USC, below 18 points per game.
Don't expect the streak to be broken against Washington, especially with the
way the Huskies have struggled offensively this season. Washington only managed
21 points at home against San Diego State, a team that has given up 79 points
to North Dakota and San Jose State the last two weeks.
It also is difficult to think the Huskies will hold down Stanford's offense.
Washington is allowing 175 rushing yards per game, while the Cardinal are
picking up 150 yards per game on the ground.
Stanford also had a week off to regroup from its win over the Trojans, so it is
doubtful a letdown will take place. Look for the Cardinal to control the game
from start to finish and walk off with a double-digit victory.
Take Stanford minus 6.5 points.
Boise State takes to the road after surviving by one point over BYU. The
Broncos have not scored an offensive touchdown in two of their three games. It
also took them almost 30 minutes to pick up their second offensive touchdown in
their other contest.
The odds are strong the Broncos will score more than 14 points against New
Mexico, but don't count on them going for 45 the way they did a season ago.
This is a team that has regressed sharply from 2011, while New Mexico is better
than it was at the end of last year.
The Lobos have won two of their first four games for the first time since 2007
after knocking off in-state rival New Mexico State, 27-14. The 14-point victory
was their largest margin of victory (in a Football Bowl Subdivision game) since
crushing San Diego State, 70-7, almost four years ago.
This is their first FBS home game of the season, so look for the Lobos to keep
this one much closer than the line suggests.
Take New Mexico plus 27 points.
Go with Colorado +20.5 (UCLA), Georgia -13 (Tennessee), New Mexico State -3.5
(Texas-San Antonio), Fresno State -7 (San Diego State), Washington State +29
(Oregon), Utah State -17.5 (UNLV), Oregon State +2.5 (Arizona), Tulane +18
(ULM), Troy -9 (South Alabama) and Florida Atlantic +6.5 (North Texas).
Take Hawaii +27.5 (BYU) South Florida +17 (Florida State) and Massachusetts +24
AFTER FOUR WEEKS
My overall record through Week 4 stands at 25-26 after a 6-8 week. The five-
star plays are 8-3, the three-star selections are 2-7, the two-star picks are
10-10 and the one-star plays are 5-6.
As a reminder, the five-star plays are when my personal plays coincide with my
power rating plays (games with at least a five-point differential between my
line and the actual line). The three-star choices are my personal picks, the
two-star plays are the games the power rating system picks and the one-star
plays are my personal secondary selections.
THIS WEEK'S JEFF FRANK "DIRTY DOZEN"
1) Alabama, 104.5; 2) Georgia, 103.5; 3-T) Oregon and Florida State, 102; 5)
LSU, 101.5; 6) USC, 100.5; 7) South Carolina, 98; 8) Texas, 97.5; 9) Florida,
97; 10) Oklahoma, 96; 11) Stanford, 95.5; 12-T) Nebraska and Oklahoma State,
(The Top 12 is not a reflection of a given team's won-loss record. It is based
on power ratings used to predict spreads for the upcoming week. At the
beginning of the season, all 124 FBS teams are assigned a power number, which
changes on a week-to-week basis depending on the results of the previous
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